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Alexander Hammid's sensitive narrative of how a pre-adolescent boy is helped by a psychiatrist to come to terms with his feelings.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Affiliated Film Producers
Sponsor: Mental Health Film Board and State of Michigan
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: Psychology; Medicine: Psychiatry; Children: Psychology
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: Angry Mom
A sensitive film about ten year old boy Tommy, whose bad behavior reflects the unresolved problems of his parents. Luckily for Tommy, his problems are recognized and he goes into play therapy while his mother talks over the familys problems with a psychiatric social worker. Agnes, Tommys mom, leads a miserable life. Agnes has a belittling, domineering mother and a passive husband. This is one more of the many troubled marriages we see in Hammids films. As was the case with so many women in the fifties, Agnes is too intelligent to be living the drab life she does. When Tommy has trouble with math, shes the one who helps him while Tommys dad Frank shamefacedly reads the newspaper. No wonder she gets splitting headaches.
The film is sympathetic to Agness situation, but theres no insight into the culturally impossible situation shes in. Shes stuck at home all day cooking fussy meals to show what a good mother she is, while ineffectual Frank gets offered a promotion and a chance to go to New York. None of the mental health professionals seem interested in talking directly to Frank. Women are the emotional caretakers of the family here. There are some good scenes with Tommy and his doctor in play therapy, although I hope the toy gun Tommy uses isnt still on the market.
In the end, Frank and Agnes go to New York for a few weeks and Tommy goes to camp. Poor Grandma is left alone with no one to nag or criticize. This is a family that needs to get away from each other. Maybe Frank will get offered a permanent job in New York. Agnes might get a chance to use her intelligence and Tommy will get some breathing space.
Subject: a great film
This film by alexander hammid is his masterpiece...With a career starting in 1929,he has nexer received due recognitin, although his IMAX film received an oscar and remains the most popular..Now aged 92 and living in new york
Christine Hennig -
Subject: Angry Boy (Full Film)
This is one of the best and most intelligent films about "children's problems" that I've seen. 10-year-old Tommy steals money out of his teacher's purse. The principal, rather than punishing him, believes he is psychologically troubled, so he encourages his mother to take him to a local child guidance clinic for psychotherapy. There he works with a compassionate psychotherapist, while his mother receives counseling from a social worker. It is revealed that Tommy's family is troubledhis mom is a control freak who orders her husband and son around, his dad is overworked and under the thumb of his mom, and if that wasn't bad enough, his maternal grandmother lives in the home and bosses his mom around and gives snide remarks to all (gee I wonder where Mom got her control freak tendencies?). Tommy is a quiet kid who internalizes everything, and he has built up a rage about his family situation that expresses itself in misbehavior at school. Fortunately, mom is highly motivated to improve things in the family, and between her therapeutic progress and Tommy's, things gradually get better. I particularly like the scenes of psychotherapy sessions between Tommy and his therapist. Although staged, they seem quite realistic, and you can understand why Tommy grows to like his therapist eventually. The family scenes also have an air of reality about them. Like Activity Group Therapy, this film gives us a glimpse of 50s mental health practices, though this is a lot easier to buy into than the other film.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.
Subject: One of the best Social Guidance Films EVER!
This heartwrenching drama, made in 1950, is as fresh today as it was 52 years ago. For ONCE the kids and the adults are'nt treated like morons, and the message is quite evidentally clear.
The acting here is first rate, the cinematography and lighting are quite incredible, especially for a social film. Music is powerful and yet not overbearing. Not 100% free in questionable behaviour though, as the scene with the psychiatrist letting Tommy play with a toy arrow gun is a bit troubling, but other then that, a truly memorable achievement. Highly reccomended!